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Recurve speed

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I know this might be a leading question, but does anyone know an "avarage" speed for a recurve with a hunting setup? I know this could vary as much as it does in compounds, percentage wise, but take for example Fred Eichler's 54lb recurve that he used to shoot the brown bear. Also anyone know what typical recurve arrows weight and the K.E. they combos are making? The point I am trying to make with a couple of friends is that if he can get ample penetration with a 54lb recurve on a huge bear why should a small framed shooter be worried about deer or maybe even zebra hunting, keeping ranges to about 20yrds, with a 40lb compound and a heavy arrow and sharp broadhead.
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I can't answer your question directly, but I do recall something in the Black Widow catalog talking about why a 45# hunting recurve is adequete for hunting game like deer and such at close range.

I think a lot depends on the design of the bow, the materials used, the archer's true DL, poundage as well as total arrow weight, type and length of fletching and how well the arrow set-up is matched.
 

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Well, if you look in my Sig, you can see what my recurve and longbow do. My recurve probably will shoot faster than a short draw 40lb compound though. I have shot arrows weighing around 500gr at around 195 to 200fps. I consider 500gr on the light side for trad though. I personally prefer arrows around 600 + grains. A good sharp two blade BH with a heavy front of center, heavy arrow will definately penetrate anything in North America.
Dan
 

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Yep, 170 - 180 is a good speed for a recurve, but remember the arrow wieght per pound of pull is much, much higher than a compound.

10 gr/lb arrow is considered average for a recurve. That puts the average arrow in the 500 - 600 grain total weight.
 

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Yep, 170 - 180 is a good speed for a recurve, but remember the arrow wieght per pound of pull is much, much higher than a compound.

10 gr/lb arrow is considered average for a recurve. That puts the average arrow in the 500 - 600 grain total weight.
exactly what I would have posted.

You will note that with the slower bows like a recurve you do not worry about KE, you worry about momentum and use a cut on impact head.

Large amounts of either will kill well. Because KE is dictated by speed (KE=.5*m*v^2) compounds are VERY good at making large amounts of it. It's easy to make small changes and get a good improvement in speed. Recurve, not so much. You loose so much efficiency once you go below around 8gpp of arrow weight that you gain little to no KE - going from 8-12gpp doesn't loose too much speed either. This means that your KE isn't something you are going to change by much (and even then you will need to quadruple or more for it to be effective in killing).

However momentum is easily changeable - it is equally ruled by mass and velocity (p=mv). Since as we saw above speed is not going to change much in the "normal" weight range of arrows that spine correctly for the bow we can easily increase the mass of the arrow and gain penetration.

Further one will note that cut-on-impact broad heads (zwicky's, woodsmans, stingers, etc) take more advantage of momentum than KE. They are designed to be low on friction and work better with higher impulses which heavy arrows also deliver more of (impulse=force*time). Expandables are the opposite - lots and lots of overcoming friction as the blades open which requires lots of KE. Standard fixed blades are in between, they need a little bit of both (which both styles of bows offer more than enough).

I will also point out that *any* bow can work on the "momentum theory" if you use the correct equipment. Traditional (or primitive) are pretty much locked into that model, compounds can move out into KE and are arguable more effective in that model.

If you really want to convince your friend my standard argument is this: the very first "gun" was in around 1100 or so (and is so far removed from "gun" that it is questionable if we can call it that) and nearly all kills before then were archery related (especially if we include things like atlatl's as archery related - while not totally true the KE/momentum numbers do not differ by much). Compounds became popular sometime in the late 70's so all archery kills before then were "traditional" (recurve or longbow). So, we know that even elephants were taken back then - my guess is that since the didn't have our current 300+fps bows that it is quite possible to take game with them.

In fact, if we start to look at what was typically used we find that Native Americans tended to use 35-45 lb self bows (if you get 150fps you have a well made one) with stone points to kill anything they ate. We know they ate bear, buffalo, and killed every animal on the planet (including other humans). I do not know about you, but I figure if they could do it with that type of equipment I can with all the crap we feel we have to buy today. In fact, given how many they had to kill I kinda feel ashamed at how few I kill given my current advantages. OTOH I sorta figure that if I had spent the time learning to kill said animals instead of learning to write software and manage teams I'm sure I would be a better hunter. I sorta have to have those advantages to kill (or rather since I refuse to use them now I almost never harvest anything - but then that's my excuse for not killing anything).

If anyone wants to argue that we require some massive amounts of KE to kill today, well I suggest you tell ten thousand or more years of human history the they couldn't really kill the game they ate to live by. I'm sure they actually too those calories and nutrients from the air by osmosis (similar to a plant). I'm sure they would be quite interested to know they didn't actually kill said animal.
 

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Thanks for all the ideas

Thanks for all the responces and ideas. It has helped a lot. So I take it that if you can't be fast you better be heavy, and that works with compounds too.
Is that correct?
 

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Thanks for all the responces and ideas. It has helped a lot. So I take it that if you can't be fast you better be heavy, and that works with compounds too.
Is that correct?
Heavy is always an advantage except when it concerns trajectory. The bow does not matter. One of the heaviest boned animals commonly hunted, the Asian water buffalo, has had passthroughs with bows putting out arrows with a KE of 39. I think you would be better served to pay attention to the momentum your arrow has and ignore whatever the KE may be. You will find that momentum goes up considerably as arrow weight goes up. Once again, it doesn't matter whether the bow is a compound or a traditional.

By the way, there are some 60 lb recurves out there that will push a 500 grain arrow in 230 fps range. Compare this to the AMO of many compounds. It's not significantly different.
 
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